Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Oct. 21, 2022, 7:21 a.m. Humanist 36.219 - sensing technological sophistication

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 219.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2022-10-21 06:17:57+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: the sense of sophistication

Some time ago, in a discussion about cameras, an engineer whom I know
asked me what I thought about the latest version of the make of camera
we both have. I found myself saying that its technology was much
'quieter' than before. By this I didn't mean the sound of the shutter
(which is just the same as before). I was attempting to articulate the
sense I've also had about computers and phones as they become more
technologically sophisticated.

I still don't know exactly what I mean by 'quieter', but the sense
persists under examination. I see two possibilities or a combination of
these: (1) a greater degree of concealment of the engineering; (2) a
greater degree of my assimilation of it.

Speculations welcome, scholarship even more so.

Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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